Lisa Atkinson died in her San Mateo, California, home on Saturday, May 9 after a long illness. She was 51 years old.Lisa was a favorite performer on Albany’s folk music scene back in the ’80s. While based in the Capital Region, she recorded the single “She’s Got Secrets,” as well as the full-length album “Pack Me in Your Suitcase.”
She was also an award-winning children’s music performer, who recorded three albums for Albany’s A Gentle Wind children’s music label – “I Wanna Tickle the Fish,” “The One and Only Me” and “The Elephant in Aisle Four.”
“A Celebration of Life” will be held in her honor from 2-5pm on Saturday, August 29 – which would have been Lisa’s 52nd birthday – at the A.S.K. Arts Center at 97 Broadway in Kingston.
Born on August 29, 1957, in Kingston, the multi-talented Atkinson was not only a musician and entertainer, but also a talented poet, photographer and fabric artist. She wrote her first song at the age of thirteen and began her performing career at Pearl’s Place in Hurley.
In 1987, she relocated to California and became a significant influence on the children’s music and folk music scene in the Bay Area, earning the nickname “Mother of South Bay Folks” for planting and watering the initial seeds of SBF.
Her “grown-up” CDs – “Simple as That,” which she produced with her husband George, and her last CD, “Connie’s Songbird” – earned rave reviews.
Her radio program, “Don’t Panic, It’s Just Us Folks” aired for 11 years on the listener-supported radio station KKUP-FM in Cupertino, California, featuring both local and national singer-songwriters, peace activists and political commentators.
Her band, the Atkinson Kincheloe Band, shared the stage with such music legends as Pete Seeger, John Stewart, Leon Rosselson, Tom Rush, Alex DeGrassi and many others.
In addition to her children’s recordings, Lisa was also the voice of Tony Pickleberry on National Public Radio’s “Pickleberry Pie,” a radio show for children.
Atkinson leaves behind her daughters Sarah Emily and Lara Kincheloe, her sons Dylan and Bram Kincheloe, her husband George Kincheloe, her mother Daryl Serniak and many friends, fans and family.